On Farm Bill, Huelskamp Bill Shows Conservative Backbone
The fight to preserve and restore liberty remains fever pitched as conservatives battle Washington politicians and special interests on a myriad of fronts. Whether it’s misguided “bipartisan” efforts that infringe upon our second amendment rights, “comprehensive” immigration legislation that fails to address the real underlying problems in our system, or convoluted tax schemes tantamount to taxation without representation, determined big-government proponents are on the offensive.
Nevertheless, there are some in the halls of Congress who remain committed to their limited government principles and their mission to reduce Washington’s footprint. Rep. Tim Huelskamp (R-KS) has shown that he is one of them.
As we approach the proposed May 15th mark up date for the $1 trillion food and farm welfare bill, Rep. Huelskamp has introduced legislation (sub. req’d) aimed at reforming the out-of-control food stamp program.
The State Nutrition Assistance Flexibility Act of 2013 (H.R. 1355) returns food stamp and nutrition program spending to pre-recession (FY 2008) levels, provides states with flexibility in the form of fixed funding, and implements a work activation program for 1.5 million able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWD’s).
Getting spending under control and promoting self-sufficiency through work are important policy steps for reforming the nation’s massive welfare state, which today consists of roughly 80 means-tested programs.
Spending on food stamps has doubled from roughly $40 billion a year in 2008 to an outrageous $80 billion a year in 2012, and the number of Americans dependent on them continues to rise. Despite this fact, many politicians—Republicans and Democrats alike—are committed to passing a new subsidy-soaked farm bill that is eighty percent food stamps.
In the current environment, it is refreshing to see a Member of Congress willing to fight to rein in spending and use the conservative principle of self-reliance as his guide to do it. We can only hope others will do the same.